Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pools are a popular destination for summer recreation. From your neighbor’s backyard pool to pools located at municipal parks, local apartment complexes, and area resorts, there is sure to be a swimming pool somewhere near you. As enjoyable as swimming pools can be, they can also be dangerous.

Types of Swimming Pool Accidents

One common and well-known type of swimming pool accident is drowning. Approximately ten people in the United States drown every day. It is estimated that one out of every five drowning victims is a child under the age of fourteen.

Non-fatal submersion injuries are even more common than drowning. For every child that drowns, five other children are treated for non-fatal submersion injuries. These injuries can cause brain damage, which could lead to permanent disabilities.

There are also other types of swimming pool accidents. Hard surfaces around pools may become slippery when wet, causing slip and fall injuries. Diving boards, slides, and other pieces of equipment in a pool area each pose their own risks to the people who use them. Diving carries a particularly high risk of severe injury, death, and permanent disabilities.

Many Swimming Pool Accidents Are Preventable

One of the most tragic things about drownings and other swimming pool accidents is that they are largely preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all swimming pool drownings involving young children could have been prevented by proper pool fencing.

Pools should be enclosed by a four-sided fence which is at least four feet tall, with self-closing, self-latching gates. If a building or dwelling forms part of the “fence” around a pool, the doors leading to the pool should be locked. Inground pools are not the only pools which should be fenced in. Many families are keeping cool in their backyards with new soft-sided, self-rising pools. The soft sides of these pools can collapse if someone leans onto them, which may cause the person to fall into the pool and drown.

Liability for Swimming Pool Accidents

The people who own properties where swimming pools are located are responsible for ensuring that their pools are kept safe for those people who are permitted to use them. They are also responsible for preventing unauthorized access to their pools by enclosing them with proper fencing and gates. When landowners fail to enclose a pool properly or to maintain it safely and a drowning or other accident occurs, they may be held liable for the damages suffered by the victim. If the accident is fatal, the victim’s family may be able to recover for their loss.

In many premises liability cases, trespassers are unable to hold landowners liable for their injuries. Swimming pool accidents involving children are a well-known exception to this rule because pools are considered an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance is something dangerous, like a swimming pool, which attracts children. If a landowner has a swimming pool on their property and they are aware that children may be present near their property, they may be liable for the injury to or death of a child if the accident were preventable. One common example of a landowner’s failure to prevent children from coming into contact with an attractive nuisance is an unfenced swimming pool.

Peter Thompson & Associates: Helping Swimming Pool Accident Victims Across Maine

If you have been injured or someone that you love has been killed in a swimming pool accident, the personal injury attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates are here to help you. With offices in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth, our dedicated team of professionals is easily accessible to clients throughout the state of Maine. Please call us today, at 1 800.804.2004 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Although this has been a difficult time, you have made this much easier by your thoughtfulness and professionalism. M.W., Portland
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I was pleased with the level of professionalism and the effectiveness of your team. This was my first exposure to 'a case' and you made the process easy for me. M.D., Kittery
My brother is an attorney in New York. After my accident 2 years ago I asked him what firm I should go with. He researched and told me to call Peter Thompson and Associates. I followed his recommendation and am glad I did. From the opening bell they were timely, informative, professional AND WARM. Thank you. R.S., South Portland, ME